Category Archives: fun

Seeking Advice and Encouragement for Preservice Elementary Teachers of Science

Next week I will start teaching K-8 Science Methods courses to three different groups of preservice teachers. In my state, this is typically the ONE science education related course that elementary educators receive. It always feels like a huge responsibility… that in just a matter of hours over the couse of 10 weeks I am charged with conveying all of the necessary habits of mind, pedagogy, knowledge and beliefs necessary to be a successful teacher of elementary science.

So on that note, I’m asking all of you to help me out. What would you like to share with this group of emerging elementary teachers regarding science education? Perhaps a bit of advice, a quote, a tip, or a word of encouragement. What do you wish someone would have shared with you? Please leave some thoughts in the comments and I will pass it on. Thanks.

A Science & Art Desktop to Launch 2013

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I found this excellent desktop image on Design Milk and wanted to share it with you all…”Design is where science & art break even”. Click HERE to learn more about the artist, Lisa Congdon, and to download the image.

Science of Santa Video

This somewhat scientific take on Santa (Does Santa Really Exist?) and what might be required for him to actually make all of his deliveries is pretty entertaining in a very dark way. WARNING: you may want to make sure there are no young “believers” watching over your shoulder… not for little kids! Enjoy…

NASA Johnson Style

Just for fun… hope you enjoy NASA Johnson Style (Gangnam Style parody)

Halloween Science 2012

Halloween is quickly approaching so I wanted to put together my annual reminder of great Halloween related science resources online. Here are some of my faves: (please let me know in the comments of Halloween Science resources I missed)

Halloween Science at Science Bob’s Site– tons of videos and spooky science projects.

Easy Halloween Science Experiments for the Classroom– the title says it all.

Icky, Creepy, and just Plain Gross Science Projects– a page from Scholastic with lots of gross ideas- boys will love these!

The Kitchen Pantry Scientist has some good ideas: Spooky Halloween Science,  Halloween Science Experiments and Alien Monster Eggs to name a few.

The Haunted Physics Lab– another source of ideas.

Last but not least, Steve Spangler always has lots of good Halloween Science ideas and video clips. See Halloween Science Recipes , Halloween Science Demos and an example video of Steve on the Ellen show embedded below:

 

Looking Back to Look Forward

On Monday I found myself working with a group of science education leaders from around Washington state. Craig Gabler from ESD 113 brought an old copy of Science in the Elementary Grades from the Centralia School District written in the early 1960s. I opened the document to the first page and found the following text.

Science education has three facets. The one is content, the other method, and the third is attitude.

All too frequently, teachers of science become too involved in the content of science.  In reality, science taught in this fashion becomes just another reading or lecture course. Hence, the methods that lead the learner to develop hypotheses from observation, checking these hypotheses or guesses for validity, and eventually arriving at a conclusion, are important. Finally, the accepting of a proven conclusion, even though it is apparently contrary to fact in the attitudinal area is a necessity. Therefore, content, method, attitude assume different roles in science than in teaching history, reading, etc. Content is arrived at through method to change attitude. Science becomes a way of thinking, a method for solving problems, a retreat from the thoroughly emotional plane of living.

This text made me think of how we are still struggling to meet this vision for science instruction 50 years later… We may not use the same terminology but the gist is the same.  So as we embark on the next generation of science standards, how will these standards be different? How will they help us to change and grow and improve our instruction? Or will someone just stumble on a dusty tattered copy of the NGSS document in the year 2062 and think, “We are still trying to do that”.

You Know All Your Variables (One Direction parody)

For some Friday fun heading into Labor Day weekend I thought I would share this teacher-created song/video about variables and controlled experiments- You Know All Your Variables. Could be a nice addition to some elementary science instruction this fall. Enjoy! Thanks to Sue Selle for taking the time to make and share this.